Saturday, October 18, 2008

One Day Away

We're in San Francisco, safe and sound. It was a long day yesterday on the airplane and in shuttle buses.

Highlights of the day included the Southwest flight attendant recognizing our Team in Training crew of 18 (17 ladies and moi). The plane erupted when she said the entire Tennessee chapter raised $140,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We arrived in Oakland (nice airport, dump city), drove across the Bay Bridge (a few folks weren't happy when I reminded them about the bridge ramp that was destroyed during the 1989 earthquake) and finally made it to our hotel after 2 p.m. local time. Dori and I were very hungry, so we walked down to touristy Fisherman's Wharf and slammed some food that we didn't really taste.

Dori chilled in the hotel, while I caught a shuttle to the Nike Women's Marathon tent in Union Square to retrieve my bib number and time chip. The scene was Estrogen City - women receiving massages, manicures, you name it. Back at the hotel, I lied down for 15 minutes before we headed to the Top Fundraiser reception. Joan Benoit Samuelson spoke about what we've accomplished and why tomorrow's race is the most popular and recognizable race for women "in the world." She's tiny, but not diminutive in any other way.

We were told the top 90 fundraisers in attendance raised almost $1 million and we heard from a man who received 47 rounds of chemo, but was doing well. His beautiful and impressive family was clearly touched, as were we. LLS organizers and Samuelson then recognized the top three fundraisers, who raised $31K, $36K and $45K. The first and last spoke. The first introduced her sister, who has been battling a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in her brain. She said she started fundraising 10 years ago because "she was fat," but three years later her sister was diagnosed. She was very fired up, like football fired up. Strong lady. The top fundraiser, who was probably in her early 30s, took the microphone and started crying as she told us about her husband's diagnosis 12 months ago. Not many dry eyes in the house. You would be impressed and inspired by these tigers.

I slept well last night but haven't recovered from this bronchitis. I'm tired and stuffy. Dori wondered, "What percent are you?" To which I responded, "Don't ask." But how I perform running 13.1 tomorrow is little stuff. Sure, I'm bummed, but we are having a great time together. When Dori was sick, she thanked me many times for everything I was doing to keep things moving along. She hasn't stopped, and I don't want her to ... I said 14 years ago we pledged "for better or worse ... in sickness and in health." We've had a lot of better, a little worse.

The weather tomorrow looks decent - an upper level low and fog off the coast will keep the temps down along the coast. We'll probably start in the mid 50s and end in the low 60s. San Francisco, as advertised, is a beautiful city, so hopefully that will be part of what keeps my mind straight as I deal with this bug tomorrow. You all know what the other part is.

1 comment:

PriestessT said...

Jim--

I knew you weren't right when I talked to you on the phone Thursday. "The sickness" finally caught up with me too and Dr. Schoneig insisted I spend a few days on 11 North so that's where I am right now.

I am so proud of all you've done and so honored to know boyt you and Dori. I'll have you in my prayers tomorrow. I'm sorry you're still not up to par, but you just keep putting one foot in front of the other tomorrow and you'll finish with flying colors. God will give you wings.

Love and blessings --

Tammy